Ipswich Witches top the table after another big Foxhall win – this time over Newcastle
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 54 Newcastle Diamonds 39
Ipswich Witches shot to the top of the Championship table with another dominating home performance at Foxhall Stadium tonight.
Newcastle were the latest side to head home defeated as Ritchie Hawkins’ side made it 12 straight home league victories on the bounce – 14 in all competitions.
The Witches started like a train, smashing home three 5-1 maximums in the first three heats. The Diamonds never recovered.
All the Ipswich top five were in good form, while Witches’ reserves Nathan Greaves and Connor Mountain were again impressive.
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Indeed it was Greaves and Mountain’s contributions who were a big difference in the sides, the Ipswich pair netting 10 points, while Newcastle’s reserves only got one.
Cameron Heeps led the Witches scorechart with another power-packed performance, while Rory Schlein was again in great form and there were solid contributions from Danny King and Kyle Newman.
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Justin Sedgmen, on his return to the team from injury enjoyed a couple of sound heats.
It was a ragged start to heat one and Newcastle’s No.1 Robert Lambert thought it might be brought back for a re-run as he eased up.
But it didn’t happen and King and Newman shot off for a home maximum. Mountain passed Ben Hopwood to join Greaves at the front in heat two, but Diamonds’ Jack Thomas crashed on bend four.
It mattered not in the re-run as both Ipswich youngsters shot from the start. The Witches had made the most perfect of starts and Heeps and Sedgmen made it three maximums in a row for the Witches, with Newcastle all over the place.
Mountain was on the deck in a tight first turn of heat four, before the Witches were away again, Schlein winning and Mountain keeping GB star Steve Worrall behind him for two laps. Heeps was showing some quick form and he beat Lambert in a fast time in race five.
Worrall and King had a good scrap for the lead in heat six as Newcastle at last won a heat, before heat seven was a hectic affair with Ashley Morris passing Schlein, only for Schlein to return the favour, as Kevin Doolan and Greaves did similar. Newcastle had arrested their slide and Worrall was out on a tactical ride in heat eight. He won easily.
Worrall and Heeps diced for the lead in heat nine, with Worrall winning again – his third race win in four. Indeed Worrall had scored 14 of the Diamonds total of 23 at this point! His efforts had subdued the crowd slightly, but King and Newman got the Foxhall faithful up on their feet again as they notched a 5-1 in heat 10. The meeting was almost in the bag for the home team and Heeps sealed the deal in heat 12.
Schlein and Lambert passed and re-passed in an exciting heat 13 and while the Diamonds ended the night with a 5-1 of their own. But this had been the Witches night.
In other fixtures on Thursday night, Redcar and Peterborough drew, while Sheffield took all three points against Workington, who failed to score a losing bonus point.
On Friday night Witches pair Rory Schlein and Danny King represent the Witches in the Championship Pairs at Somerset.
Ipswich: D King 9, K Newman 7+3, C Heeps , J Sedgmen 5+2, R Schlein 11, N Greaves 5+2, C Mountain 5+2.
Newcastle: R Lambert , R/R, K Doolan 6+2, A Morris 6, S Worrall , B Hopwood 1, J Thomas 0.
1 King, Newman, Morris, Lambert 57.5 5-1
2 Greaves, Mountain, Hopwood, Thomas (f/x) 59.2 10-2
3 Heeps, Sedgmen, Doolan, Morris 56.8 15-3
4 Schlein, Worrall, Mountain, Thomas 58.0 19-5
5 Heeps, Lambert, Doolan, Sedgmen 56.7 22-8
6 Worrall, King, Newman, Hopwood 57.0 25-11
7 Schlein, Morris, Doolan, Greaves 57.5 28-14
8 Worrall*, Newman, Mountain, Thomas 57.5 31-20
9 Worrall, Heeps, Sedgmen, Hopwood 57.2 34-23
10 King, Newman, Doolan, Morris 56.6 39-24
11 Lambert, Schlein, Greaves, Thomas 57.0 42-27
12 Heeps, Doolan, Mountain, Hopwood 57.5 46-29
13 Schlein, Lambert, King, Worrall 57.2 50-31
14 Morris, Sedgmen, Greaves, Hopwood 58.5 53-34
15 Worrall, Lambert, Heeps, Mountain, Schlein (ex/2mins) 57.3 54-39
*tac ride points count double
Ipswich 3 pts. Newcastle 0 pts.
Ipswich 24 50
Edinburgh 21 47
Glasgow 19 47
Sheffield 20 43
Redcar 22 39
Peterborough 21 33
Newcastle 20 25
Workington 14 24
Scunthorpe 23 20
Berwick 26 11